Bernie focused on big league tryout
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
On Friday, the former Yankees All-Star outfielder also addressed an incident he is accused of early Tuesday morning in a Puerto Rico.
Williams, 40, is accused of striking a woman at a nightclub in San Juan, Puerto Rico, around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. The woman was reportedly trying to take Williams' picture.
A Puerto Rican police spokesman told the Associated Press that Williams grabbed the camera, damaged it and hit her in the face in the early hours of Tuesday morning after Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands, 5-0, in Pool D play. The police are still investigating.
Representing Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, Williams worked out with his team on Friday at Dolphin Stadium. Puerto Rico faces Team USA on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
"We're going to support Bernie fully," said Jose Oquendo, manager of the Puerto Rican team. "It won't be any distraction for us."
Williams said, under the advice of his attorneys, he couldn't talk about specifics of the incident.
"There is a part of me that wants to go out there and say, obviously, my side of the facts," Williams said. "But I think I'm going to let the process take its course. There were some reports that were presented in the media that were inaccurate.
"Hopefully the matter will be clarified sooner or later and the truth will come out."
The 40-year-old Williams last played for the Yankees in 2006. In the Classic, he has appeared in three games and he is hitless in four at-bats, with two walks.
Williams played all 16 of his big league seasons with the Yankees, and he was a standout on four World Series title teams.
While he hasn't played in the big leagues since 2006, he would welcome another chance.
"Yeah, I'm definitely keeping my eyes and ears open," Williams said. "I'm working hard to prepare myself, not only to play baseball, but just to try to keep myself in good physical condition."
A switch-hitter, Williams has a .297 career batting average, 287 home runs and 1,257 RBIs.
In all, he has appeared in 25 postseason series, and six World Series. He's a .275 career postseason hitter with 22 homers and 80 RBIs in 121 games.
"I think this is a very small window of opportunity, and I feel that I can help somebody out. I'm having fun," he said.
Williams would accept a backup role, if that is what it took to return to the big leagues.
"Absolutely, I think it's just about playing the game and being able to help," he said. "Just proving to myself that I can still play at this level, against this competition. Let's see what happens."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.